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Dir. Andrés Wood
(Chile, 105 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Political Drama)
From Sundance Award-winning director Andrés Wood (Machuca) comes Araña, a dark political thriller about the ambition of power. Through two different timelines, one set on the eve of the Chilean coup d’etat in 1973 and one in the present day, Araña explores the evolution of radical political activism as well as a dangerously charged love triangle. Spotlight Films Showcase.
El cuento de las comadrejas
Dir. Juan José Campanella
(Argentina, 129 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Dark Comedy)
Argentine director, Juan José Campanella (Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar for The Secret in their Eyes) makes his long-awaited return with El cuento de las comadrejas, a wry and sparkling dark comedy about a group of film veterans living in a mansion that becomes the target of young real-estate developers, creating a battle of the generations for the ages. Starring Oscar Martínez and Graciela Borges. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Días de luz
Dirs. Enrique Pérez Him; Mauro Borges, Gloria Carrión, Enrique Medrano, Julio López, Sergio Ramírez
(Panama / Costa Rica / Nicaragua / Honduras / El Salvador / Guatemala, 88 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama / Anthology)
For five days, a solar storm hits Central America. In each of these countries, its inhabitants must face life in its most basic terms as they are disconnected from its technological comforts. Fear, friendship, and love explode under the grace of human interaction, while the skies are illuminated by a colorful and never before seen tropical dawn. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. Pablo Larraín
(Chile, 102 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama)
Chile’s most prolific filmmaker, Pablo Larraín (No, El club, Neruda, Jackie), sets the world on fire with his latest provocation, Ema, starring Mariana Di Girolamo and Gael García Bernal. Di Girolamo plays the titular Ema, a dancer grappling with the aftermath of a difficult choice she and her partner (García Bernal) made regarding their adopted child. As she channels her intense emotional trauma into dance, Ema puts into motion a ruthless series of events in her search for personal liberation and redemption. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. Karim Aïnouz
(Brazil / Germany, 139 min., 2019, Portuguese w/ English subtitles, Drama)
Rio de Janeiro, 1950. In the conservative Portuguese Gusmão household, Eurídice and Guida are inseparable until Guida elopes with a handsome sailor. When she returns months later, pregnant and single, her father banishes her. The sisters struggle in their separate lives, hoping to reunite someday. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. Jayro Bustamante
(Guatemala / France, 97 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Supernatural Horror / Political Thriller)
A Guatemalan army general experiences a supernatural reckoning for the genocide he orchestrated against Mayan communities in Jayro Bustamante’s (Ixcanul, Temblores) bold reimagining of the Latin American folktale, La Llorona. Spotlight Films Showcase.
La mala noche
Dir. Gabriela Calveche
(Ecuador, 95 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama / Thriller)
Dana, a beautiful woman who becomes a prostitute to make ends meet, finds herself unable to pay the leader of a human trafficking ring his share of her earnings because of the expenses she incurs caring for her sick daughter and her crippling drug problem. Despite her precarious situation, an opportunity presents itself to infiltrate the ring and rescue a young girl, allowing Dana to stand up for the women trapped in the ring’s cycle of abuse. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. Eduardo Ortiz
(Puerto Rico, 115 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Dramedy)
Papote, an actor and loving father, is forced to enter an anger diversion program at a mental health institution after an aggressive outburst at work. While there, he decides to put on a play with the patients of the institution allowing him to prove his worth to his son and in the process, he learns many lessons from new friends. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Mucho mucho amor
Dirs. Cristina Constantini; Kareem Tabsch
(USA, 96 min., 2020, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Documentary)
Every day for decades, extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic and gender-nonconforming legend Walter Mercado charmed the world with his televised horoscopes. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter reached over 120 million viewers at his peak, enthralling the Latin world with sequined capes, opulent jewelry, and horoscopes that shared a message of love and hope to his devoted viewers. Then, he mysteriously disappeared. Over a decade later award-winning directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch and producer Alex Fumero capture Walter’s final two years, when the pioneering icon grappled with aging and his legacy and prepared for one last star-studded spectacle. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. Fanny Veliz Grande
(United States, 75 min., 2019, English; Spanish w/ English subtitles, Cultural Traditions)
The event started with 4 girls and now it is a celebration for 80. A high school principal from a small town in Texas hosts an annual Quinceañera for students who can’t afford to throw a celebration of their own. The entire border town of San Benito comes together to teach these girls that with the power of community any dream can come true. Spotlight Films Showcase.
La odisea de los giles
Dir. Sebastián Borensztein
(Argentina / Spain, 115 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Dramedy / Heist)
Ricardo and Chino Darín come together for the first time as a father-son acting duo in La odisea de los giles, a heist dramedy that plays on the most basic human instinct: getting back what’s yours. After a group of small-town friends and investors learn they are victims of a scam following the collapse of an Argentine bank, they set out with a plan to earn back their money against all odds. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. Allan Deberton
(Brazil, 98 min., 2019, Portuguese w/ English subtitles, Musical / Dramedy)
An eccentric old woman dances to the beat of her own drum in Allan Deberton’s poignant debut feature. Pacarrete (the sublime Marcelia Cartaxo), a former ballet dancer who lives in northeast Brazil, decides to dust off her tutu slip and her ballet slippers on to perform a classic dance for her city’s 200th-anniversary celebration–whether the townspeople want it or not. A broad comedy turns increasingly contemplative as the true nature of Pacarrete’s daily life becomes apparent. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. José María Yazpik
(Mexico, 88 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Dramedy)
Acclaimed actor José María Yazpik directs and stars in Polvo, a comic and socially incisive portrayal of a small town in Mexico turned upside down by the return of a former resident and the mysterious powder that falls from the sky one day. Featuring a dynamic supporting cast of Mexico’s biggest stars, including Mariana Treviño, Joaquín Cosio, Jesús Ochoa, Adrian Vazquez, and Angélica Aragón. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. José María Cabral
(Dominican Republic, 98 min., 2019, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama)
A projectionist confined to live his existence passionately in love with a woman he knows only through projected film reels. One night the reels get burned and he embarks on a trip searching for the real identity of his mysterious beloved. Spotlight Films Showcase.
The Roads Not Taken
Dir. Sally Potter
(UK, 85 min., 2020, English; Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama)
The Roads Not Taken follows a day in the life of Leo (Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem) and his daughter, Molly (Elle Fanning) as she grapples with the challenges of her father’s chaotic mind. As they weave their way through New York City, Leo’s journey takes on a hallucinatory quality as he floats through alternate lives he could have lived, leading Molly to wrestle with her own path as she considers her future. Featuring Salma Hayek and Laura Linney. Spotlight Films Showcase.
Dir. Jason Chaet
(United States, 93 min., 2019, English; Spanish w/ English subtitles, Dramedy)
David Seneca, a Puerto Rican actor in New York City, has been struggling for years to make his acting career a success. As he watches a young protégé take the acting world by a storm, several emotional traumas compound, leading to an unexpected street fight that goes viral. Now as an infamous internet sensation, he is kicked out of his home and must slowly start picking up the pieces of his life to make himself whole again. Spotlight Films Showcase.